3 tips for targeting millennials from MTV's perspective

We’re here with another round of insights from MTV’s Director of Ad Sales Research,Danniele Paponetti. This time, Danniele shares tips on how media planners, buyers and marketers can best target this highly-coveted audience of Millennials. After all, this isMTV’s target demographic, so who better than to shed some light on this generation?

Here we go! *View our first and second posts from this series at the links.

  1. Danniele recommends that brands should have a presence in the spaces where Millennials interact, including social networks and in-person events, if they are looking to target this generation. Her main piece of advice is to figure out the role your brand plays in each arena. She also cautions against mass-communicating your message. For example, she says you can’t just post your most recent commercial on all your social media channels. Determine what your audience wants from you in those spaces and have unique conversations with them based on that. For example, they may only want to talk to you on Twitter for customer service inquiries.
  2. Brands don’t have to be “in your face” in order for advertising to be effective. For example, MTV and Pepsi collaborated on a Twitter campaign for “Live for Now” last summer. Pepsi was looking for a program that would make them a part of the social conversation in a way that supported their new brand message, LIVE FOR NOW. So MTV created a program that leveraged existing Millennial behaviors.  Young adults are always capturing and sharing their “NOW” through photography via their mobile devices across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  The Pepsi program asked viewers to celebrate their NOW and share still photographs with a program hashtag on Twitter/Instagram for the chance to win MTV & Pepsi prizes all summer long. The program hashtags and insights were co-branded and featured the MTV channel name and the word NOW, which Pepsi identified with:  #MTVNOW #PLAYNOW.  MTV’s Millennial insights told them that consumers “get marketing” and are willing to play along with brands IF they get something in return.  Therefore, #Pepsi wasn’t used to enter the contest but was used heavily on social to prize and credit who was giving the rewards. The fan reaction was positive -- consumers overtly thanked Pepsi for these experiences in the social space. 
  3. Be creative, try new things, but importantly, don’t intrude! Most Millennials are open to brand engagement and fun advertising tactics, but only with the right (and not heavy-handed) approach. They want to be entertained, not intruded upon. That’s why MTV offers advertisers much more than just a TV commercial nowadays. They can partner on music festivals, social campaigns and much more. But Danniele says they know there are places where you have to draw the line. Her example? Text message ads. Millennials believe texting is a private exchange so they don’t want to receive texts from a brand. Exception? Unless they’ve opted in!


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